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Geoffrey Norris

(b Moscow, Dec 27, 1811/Jan 8, 1812; d St Petersburg, 10/Oct 22, 1869). Russian writer and critic. He is sometimes known under his pseudonym, Vasily Fortep′yanov. His brother Sergey Petrovich (1832–89) was a distinguished chemist and a pioneer in Russian medicine. Vasily was the oldest son of a family of tea merchants, and for some time directed the firm. However, when still in his 20s he wrote articles on music for journals and newspapers, including Teleskop and Moskovskiy nablyudatel′. As a widely travelled and cultured man he made substantial contributions throughout his life to important learned journals. He made a detailed study of aspects of Shakespeare’s plays and also published papers on German and Russian literature. In December 1839 an article by him on Italian and German music (‘Ital′yanskaya i germanskaya muzïka’) appeared in Otechestvennïye zapiski, and in 1848 and 1849 he published an account of Italian opera in St Petersburg, ...

Article

[Dionysus Lardner ]

(b Dublin, Dec 26, 1820 or 1822; d New York, Sept 18, 1890). Irish dramatist . Known primarily as an actor, he played regularly in New York and London from the 1850s, excelling in his depictions of Irish heroes. Though nearly all his dramatic works were adaptations, they were often brilliantly constructed. His most successful pieces were London Assurance (1841, produced under the pseudonym Lee Morton); The Colleen Bawn, or The Brides of Garryowen (1860, after G. Griffin: The Collegians, or The Colleen Bawn), later adapted by Boucicault and John Oxenford as the libretto for Benedict’s opera The Lily of Killarney (1862); and Arrah-na-Pogue (1865). With B. N. Webster Boucicault adapted an opéra comique by Ambroise Thomas, Le panier fleuri, for London, as The Fox and the Goose, or The Widow’s Husband (1844, Adelphi Theatre).

DNB (J. Knight) J. W. Cole...

Article

Henri Vanhulst

(b Saint-Gilles, Brussels, May 29, 1890; d Brussels, April 11, 1961). Belgian composer, pianist and critic. He studied at the Brussels Conservatory, where in 1908 he won a first prize for piano in De Greef's class. Wounded in World War I, he was evacuated to England and then moved to Australia, where he became Melba's accompanist. After several international tours he settled in Brussels in 1925. He abandoned his career as a virtuoso pianist to study composition with Gilson and joined the ‘Synthétistes’ group. At the same time he launched into music criticism, giving proof of a caustic wit. Until 1955 he taught harmony (assistant professor 1939, professor 1943) and counterpoint (from 1949) at the Brussels Conservatory. A fluent composer, he began with works describing his memories of travel. He attempted to renew the symphonic poem by choosing modern subjects, as in Le jazz vainqueur, op.33. After ...

Article

Alison Stonehouse

(b Albi, 1618; d Paris, July 22, 1688). French dramatist . Over a period of 50 years he wrote 23 plays, 14 of them tragedies, the rest machine-plays and comedies. He wrote the libretto for one opera, Méduse (C. H. Gervais, 1697); mainly in alexandrine verse, its plot revolves around Medusa’s love for Perseus and her jealous reaction to his love for Ismene. Boyer viewed Méduse as a tragedy set to music–a play to which intermèdes were added and in which spectacle was an important element. There are similarities with Metastasian drama in his plays Artaxerce, Porus, ou La générosité d’Alexandre and La mort de Démétrius; the last is echoed in Metastasio’s Antigono rather than Demetrio. Boyer’s Agamemnon was the source for the opera Cassandre (1706, Paris; music by Bouvard and Bertin de la Doué, libretto by Lagrange- Chancel), and Ulysse shows parallels with Rebel’s opera of the same name (...

Article

Eric Hung

(b Brooklyn, NY, March 19, 1971). American critic and author. After graduating from Northwestern University with a concentration in African and Middle Eastern history, Bozza landed an internship at Rolling Stone magazine. He quickly climbed the ladder at the magazine; during his seven-year stint, he first volunteered to write unclaimed assignments, then edited the “Random Notes” section, and eventually wrote seven cover stories on such diverse subjects as Eminem, Cameron Crowe, Jennifer Lopez, Trent Reznor, Slipknot, and N’Sync. Since his departure from Rolling Stone in 2002, Bozza has written books on Eminem and AC/DC and co-written six books, including the official biographies of Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, INXS, Slash, and Wyclef Jean. He has also published articles in such magazines as Spin, Q, Mojo, and Radar.

Bozza’s key strength as a writer is his versatility. He is astute when he examines the social meanings of music; in ...

Article

Val Wilmer

[Cecil Valentine ]

(b Kingston, Jamaica, March 28, 1926; d Romford, Oct 10, 2009). Jamaican trumpeter, flugelhorn player, conductor, arranger, bandleader, journalist, and broadcaster. Self-taught on clarinet, he changed to trumpet to play with the big bands of the drummer Redver Cooke and the saxophonist Eric Deans, then formed the Beboppers with Ernest Ranglin and Dizzy Reece. He performed annually with the Jamaica All-Stars, and in 1950 he formed a septet which included Joe Harriott. From 1954 he promoted concerts and festivals, organizing the annual Big Band, which featured the island’s leading talents, notably Wilton “Bogey” Gaynair, Don Drummond, and the pianist (later politician) Seymour “Foggy” Mullings. Ranglin, Roland Alphonso, and the trombonist Emanuel “Rico” Rodriguez joined this ensemble to accompany such visiting artists as Sarah Vaughan, Donald Byrd, and Jimmy Owens. Bradshaw, who played in a raw, direct style influenced by Dizzy Gillespie, was a tireless promoter of Jamaican music. For 25 years he served as president of the Jamaican Federation of Musicians, and he arranged the island’s national anthem. Although he recorded extensively and toured throughout the Americas playing reggae, jazz was his preferred mode of expression. Among the guests who appeared with his poll-winning small group are Roy Haynes, Reece, Coleridge Goode, and Byard Lancaster. In the 1990s he travelled to England annually, playing in Birmingham with Andy Hamilton’s band....

Article

(b Lisbon, Oct 12, 1890; d Lisbon, Nov 27, 1955). Portuguese composer, teacher, musicologist and critic. He studied composition in Lisbon privately with Augusto Machado and Tomás Borba, then with Désiré Pâque and Luigi Mancinelli. He also studied the piano and the violin. He completed his studies in Berlin with Humperdinck and Pâque (1910) and in Paris with Grovlez (1911). After his marriage he lived on Madeira for two years, returning to Lisbon in 1914. He taught at the Lisbon Conservatory (1916–39), later becoming its assistant director (1919–24). There he worked with Mota in the major reforms which began in 1918. At the same time he established himself as a composer, musicologist, critic and lecturer and slowly rose to a position of fundamental importance in Portuguese musical life. As a teacher, he also played an important role in the preparation of a new generation of composers. In the 1930s, he began to have difficulties with the political authorities and in ...

Article

Thomas Bauman

(b Stettin [now Szczecin], Nov 15, 1735; d Berlin, Nov 10, 1799). German playwright. He fled his family business at the age of 18 and eventually joined an itinerant theatrical company. He was an indifferent actor but won considerable popularity as a playwright. In May 1772 he and his actress wife Charlotte, then both with the Seyler company in Weimar, saw the first German melodrama, Anton Schweitzer’s setting (now lost) of Rousseau’s Pygmalion, in translation. Using H. W. von Gerstenberg’s tragic cantata Ariadne auf Naxos as a model, Brandes prepared a dramatic scene in the new genre to display Charlotte’s abilities. Schweitzer temporized in setting Brandes’s text, and after the troupe moved to Gotha it was given to the court Kapellmeister there, Georg Benda. The première of Ariadne auf Naxos on 27 January 1775 was a resounding success, mainly because of Benda’s music and Charlotte’s acting. Brandes wrote a second melodrama for his wife while he was theatrical director at Dresden in ...

Article

Marie Louise Pereyra

revised by Jeffrey Cooper

[Bobillier, (Antoinette Christine) Marie]

(b Luneville, April 12, 1858; d Paris, Nov 4, 1918). French music critic and writer. An only child, she lived in many places (including Strasbourg and Metz) because of her father’s military career; she finally settled in Paris in 1871, where an attack of scarlet fever made her an invalid, thus influencing her early decision to devote her life to research. Her first publication, Histoire de la symphonie à orchestre (1882), won a prize in a Brussels competition. From then on she achieved an increasingly high reputation among French musicologists and abroad. She gathered an immense amount of information from the most reliable sources; her working methods were extremely precise and her interests wide. Certain official connections made it possible for her to gain access to primary sources.

Brenet’s publications included writings on Ockeghem, Goudimel, Palestrina, Sébastien de Brossard, Handel, Haydn, Grétry and Berlioz. The last book issued during her lifetime was ...

Article

Henri Vanhulst

(b Schaerbeek, Brussels, June 10, 1902; d Schaerbeek, May 30, 1969). Belgian composer and critic. Brenta received his musical education from Gilson and together with other disciples he founded the Synthétistes group in 1925. Having worked for Belgian radio since 1931, he was director of French music broadcasts from 1953 to 1967. He was made a member of the Belgian Royal Academy in 1966. In 1968 his Second Piano Concerto was the set work for the Queen Elisabeth International Competition. Brenta was a Romantic composer, giving pride of place to amply developed and expressive melodic line. He usually employed conventional forms, and his tonal harmony included unexpected use of dissonance. From Gilson he received a taste for the exotic, notably in evidence in his opera Le khadi dupé, and he owed to him a consummate mastery of orchestration. Brenta's orchestral palette developed in the direction of a finesse which embraced some astonishingly novel sonorities, notably in the ...

Article

(b Avignon, France, May 18, 1854; d Versailles, France, May 20, 1933). Organist, composer, collector, and writer on musical instruments. Born a count into an old Norman family, he studied organ with Gigout in Paris in the late 1880s and was admitted to the Académie des Sciences Morales, des Lettres et des Arts de Versailles in 1891. Beginning in 1897, de Bricqueville played the organ in the chapel of the palace of Versailles for about 20 years. Writing as a music critic, he enthusiastically promoted Wagner but also appreciated earlier French opera. His studies of historical instruments, instrument collecting, and music iconography, while largely superseded by later research, offer valuable insight to the state of scholarship at the turn of the 20th century. He described his private collection of instruments (mainly European of the preceding three centuries) in three published catalogues, the last being Catalogue sommaire de la collection d’instruments de musique anciens formée par le Cte de Bricqueville...

Article

Sophie Fuller

(Estella )

(b Ecclesall Bierlow, York, August 16, 1862; d London, Nov 16, 1951). English composer, pianist and critic. She studied composition and the piano at the RAM (1881–9); together with Edward German she was a member of a group of young composers known as ‘The Party’, and frequently appeared at student concerts as a pianist and composer. Notable early works include the Air and Variations for string quartet, which in 1888 won the first Charles Lucas Medal to be awarded to a woman, and a Piano Concerto in A minor which she performed herself to critical acclaim at a variety of London concerts.

After leaving the RAM, Bright established herself as a pianist in Britain and Europe and promoted the music of British composers in her annual series of piano recitals and chamber concerts in London. Among the continuing high-profile performances of her works was an 1892...

Article

Jürg Stenzl

(b Zürich, May 31, 1923). Swiss musicologist and music critic. He studied at Zürich Conservatory and at Zürich University, where he took the doctorate with Hindemith in 1955 with a dissertation on the concept of time in music. After working for a short time at Radio Zürich, he served as assistant professor of music history and music theory at the University of Pennsylvania (1955–64). In 1964 he was appointed music critic of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, and the following year succeeded Willi Schuh as its music editor. He retired in 1988. Like his predecessor, Briner based his critical judgments of the works being performed on a detailed analysis of the score. Briner is known primarily for his work on Hindemith, having written one of the first comprehensive studies on the composer ever published (1971); he has also examined 20th-century Swiss composers and the music history of Zürich. He was appointed president of the Paul Hindemith Foundation in ...

Article

Hans Åstrand

(b Uppsala, March 25, 1902; d Lund, Oct 29, 1983). Swedish composer, conductor, violist and critic. After private studies in Lund he was accepted by Henri Marteau for the latter’s violin masterclass at the German Conservatory in Prague, where he also studied composition with Finke and conducting with Zemlinsky for two years. He then studied musicology with Norlind in Stockholm, with Peter Wagner in Fribourg, Switzerland, and with Sachs in Berlin, taking a licentiate in philosophy at Lund in 1926. He was chief critic of the Sydsvenska dagbladet of Malmö (1930–66, having contributed from Lund from 1923) and co-founder of the Swedish section of the ISCM, serving as its president (1930–62) and as second chairman of the ISCM presidium (1956–9); he was appointed to honorary membership of the ISCM in 1963. He was founder-violist of the Skånekvartetten (1937–48) and the Pianokvartetten av ...

Article

Jamie C. Kassler

(b Rothbury, Northumberland, Nov 5, 1715; d Newcastle upon Tyne, Sept 23, 1766). English clergyman, writer and amateur musician. He was educated at Cambridge University and held several positions in the Church of England. His contribution to music historiography is contained in his Dissertation on the Rise, Union, and Power, the Progressions, Separations, and Corruptions, of Poetry and Music (London, 1763; Ger. trans. by J.J. Eschenburg, Leipzig, 1769; It. trans. by Oresbio Agieo, academic name of Francesco Corsetti, Florence, 1772). Proceeding on the assumption that music arose from the passions and principles of the human mind, Brown isolated 36 stages of musical history, from the early unity of gesture, voice and speech and its perfection as dance, melody and song in Greek society to the separation and degeneration of those arts in the 18th century. Thus, like Isaac Vossius (whom he cited with approval), he believed that music reached its perfection among the ancients and declined with the moderns....

Article

Rosemary Williamson

(b London, Aug 3, 1906; d Marlborough, Sept 27, 1975). English writer on music. At London University he took the BSc (1929) and BMus (1939). After teaching music at Belle Vue High School, Bradford (1939–44), and serving as a radio and telegraph instructor with the RAF, he taught physics at Marlborough Grammar School, where he was head of the science department (1945–66).

Brown was the leading Schubert scholar of his generation. His work was notable for its disciplined accuracy and depth, balance and perception, and was informed both by his thorough knowledge of the progress of Schubert research and by his enthusiasm for the music under discussion. His knowledge of and delight in literature contributed greatly to his understanding of the devices of word-setting in lieder. The other major subject of his research was Chopin: he compiled the standard thematic index of his works and studied their publishing history....

Article

(b 1843–4; d ?1917). English translator . He was a scholar of Oriel College, Oxford (BA 1866), and was ordained in the Church of England in 1868. He was choirmaster and organist of Christ Church, Marylebone, London, from 1878 to 1882.

For the production of Così fan tutte (at that time rarely staged) by the Royal College of Music at the Savoy Theatre in 1890, he wrote an amusing and elegant English version, ‘translated and adapted from the original Italian and the German paraphrase’, in a style Richard Brinsley Sheridan would not have disdained. It was published in vocal score by Novello, with the characters Fiordiligi and Guglielmo renamed Isidora and Gratiano, presumably for the convenience of English tongues. The long survival of this version, with modifications, extended to the ENO production of 1990. Browne also translated Cornelius’s Der Barbier von Bagdad (RCM, Savoy, 1891) and Hermann Goetz’s ...

Article

[Denis Browne, William Charles]

(b Leamington Spa, Nov 3, 1888; d Achi Baba, Turkey, June 4, 1915). English composer and critic. He was educated at Rugby and at Clare College, Cambridge, where he became a close friend of Dent; he graduated in classics and took a MusB in 1912. After a short spell of teaching at Repton he moved to London as a critic and teacher; his articles for The Times (1913–14) and the New Statesman (1914) reveal a brilliant musical mind. His posthumously published songs are particularly beautiful and the ballet suggests a rare ability to absorb new idioms. He was killed in action shortly after burying his friend Rupert Brooke.

Article

Barbara Chmara-Żackiewicz

(Ksawery )

(b Warsaw, Sept 6, 1867; d Warsaw, Aug 6, 1944). Polish composer and music critic. He studied law (graduating in 1890) at the University of Dorpat (now Tartu) and until about 1903 practised law in Warsaw. During the same period he also studied the piano with Jan Kleczyński. Later, he studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Reger (composition) and Nikisch. From 1916 to 1921 he was a music reviewer for Kurier Warszawski. In 1921 he was appointed Polish Consul in Breslau (now Wrocław) and later appointed to the equivalent position in Berlin, where, from about 1928, he served as music correspondent for the monthly Warsaw journal Muzyka. After returning to Poland (in 1931) he contributed to a range of musical and non-musical publications. In 1929 he became a board member of the Association of Writers and Music Critics.

Brzeziński's music is strongly based in the late Romantic tradition, although it shows signs of restrained modernism. His works are characterized by an integrity of feeling, a good command of polyphony and a predilection for the use of folk melodies and their occasional humour....

Article

Peter Branscombe

(b Goddelau, nr Darmstadt, Oct 17, 1813; d Zürich, Feb 19, 1837). German dramatist. The son of a doctor, he studied medicine in Strasbourg and Giessen before settling in Switzerland, where he began a promising career as a lecturer in comparative anatomy. He left Germany in 1835 after publication of the pamphlet Der hessische Landbote, which was born of the same desire to effect social justice and relieve the sufferings of the poor that informs his best-known drama, Woyzeck. His first drama, Dantons Tod, was his only work to be published in his lifetime; indeed, despite the advocacy of Hebbel and Gutzkow, his works were hardly performed until the 20th century. Danton, sickened by the Terror and his involvement in the September Massacres, makes no effort to save his own life; indeed, his denunciation of Robespierre hastens his end. The only positive message is of the invincibility of the human spirit. The play was turned into an opera by von Einem, to a libretto by Blacher, and was first heard at the Salzburg Festival in ...